Thursday, January 20, 2011

Golda Och Academy Students Give Back

Yesterday was our high school's annual Community Service Day, and our students spent their morning working with seniors, adults with disabilities, children with Cerebral Palsy and preschoolers, as well as helping out at food pantries and Reeves Reed Arboretum in Summit -- a perfect project to honor Tu Bishvat, the New Year for Trees. Our high school students chose their top three locations and small groups were sent to each of the agencies.

Engaging with the residents at Canterbury Village.
Throughout the morning, Golda Och Academy students could be found at the ARC of Essex County -- Stepping Stones School, which is an innovative learning program for infants, preschoolers, and children up to age 9 who have developmental disabilities, while other students visited Canterbury Village of West Orange, which has been one of the most experienced Senior Assisted Living Residences in the area since 1921. Our students also were at the Horton School, one of the most densely populated schools in the North Ward in Newark, with grades K-8th, as well as at the more than 100-year-old Valley Region Settlement House Pre-School in West Orange.

Also, in an effort to fight hunger and poverty, our high schoolers volunteered at the Community FoodBank of NJ and the Emergency Food Pantry at The Episcopal Church of the Epiphany in Orange, New Jersey. 

A Golda Och Academy student (center) at the WAE Center. 
Some students volunteered at the Cerebral Palsy of New Jersey Adult Center in Irvington, as well as their Horizon Elementary School and Horizon High School and also at Jewish Service for the Developmentally Disabled of Metrowest WAE Center (Wellness, Arts and Enrichment), which offers opportunities for teens ages 16 and older, as well as adults.

To top off the day, the high school students were treated to a performance from Golda Och Academy's very own drama and multi-media instructor, Jordan Herskowitz, who performed his hilarious and heart-warming one-man show, "Growing up Jordy Pordy," about  life as a professional mascot. It was the perfect end to a great day of volunteerism and giving back by our high schoolers.

The one-man "Jordy Pordy" show.
Stay tuned for more of what our students are up to, and be sure to visit us on Twitter and Facebook